I am thinking of starting a web presence creation business. I’m not a web designer but I want to help small business owners that don’t have the time or knowledge to create a website and aren’t ready to invest in a real web designer. I would market my services as sort of a trial run to the real thing and would be up front about the limitations of my services.
My inspiration for this idea came from my experience helping my husband get his counseling business off the ground. There was no money for a professional web designer and he didn’t really need a lot. He has no knowledge of how to create a website, register a domain, choose a web host, create google ads, etc. So, I set up his site and his ads. I got him to start blogging, after I set up his account. I really enjoyed doing it and wondered if others would like to get started online but were in the same position he was.
I got this question from Rainie who has just helped her husband set up his business’ website and associated blog and was looking to see whether this was something she could turn into a profitable venture. It’s a great question and I’m sure that at some time or other this graces the mind of anyone who’s ever set up their own or someone else’s online presence.
Well Rainie, I believe there’s a market for pretty much anything that people are ready to do, however there are some major questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on something like this. This list isn’t exhaustive, but just some ideas that struck me while reading your question:
- Can I attract enough paying customers? For a business to be commercially viable it relies on having a steady stream of paying customers coming through the door. You should be thinking about what you can charge for your services and whether the market you’re trying to attract is ready to pay the price. I’m sure there are countless people out there who would love to have someone build a website for them, but the reality is that you have bills to pay at the end of the month and if you can earn more working at your local McDonalds, then it’s probably not worth doing.
- Are you selling the right thing? There was one thing that worried me about your proposal; you said you aren’t a web designer, yet interested in selling web design. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying your skills aren’t valuable, but you seem to be pitching this wrong. What you seem to have done is helped your husband set himself up online, trained him in the process, then guided him as he learnt to do it himself. Are you in the web design business? Or in the training business? How about “online relations”? There are thousands of web designers out there, but if you can position yourself as something unique, you can stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself.
- Are you ready to commit yourself? Starting up a new venture always takes up much more time and effort than you imagine. You’ll be thinking about this when you open the curtains in the morning and still thinking about it when you lay your head down on your pillow at night. Luckily this is something you enjoy, but are you ready to give up evenings and weekends to help grow your new venture?
Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball that tells the future, so I can’t tell you if you will be successful or not, but I hope that these questions help you clarify the idea in your mind and I wish you the best of luck. And don’t forget, if you ever get stuck, you can always Ask Owen 😉